Hoa Binh Supporting Businesses to Cope with Difficulties

5:25:21 PM | 6/3/2013

Hoa Binh is a poor mountainous province. Last year, despite economic difficulties facing the nation in general and Hoa Binh province in particular, the province – with continuing policies aimed at creating competitive advantages and promoting resources – managed to complete many socio-economic development goals and attract many investors. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Bui Van Tinh, Chairman of Hoa Binh Provincial People’s Committee, on this issue. Nguyen Hanh reports.
Could you tell us about the administrative activities and socioeconomic development results of Hoa Binh province in 2012?
Right from the beginning of last year, the Provincial People's Committee issued Decision 55/QD-UBND dated January 10, 2012 on administrative and directive plans for implementation of socioeconomic and budgetary tasks in 2012. The decision focused on directing and administering the implementation of objectives in line with local realities and orientations of the government like curbing inflation; restructuring the economy; improving business and investment environment and investment solutions; enhancing the quality of human resources; developing science and technology; developing industrial zones, urban zones and transport systems; and applying continued implementation of agricultural and rural development policies, programmes and projects.
In addition, the Hoa Binh Provincial People’s Committee issued Decision 1314/QD-UBND dated September 25, 2012 on the approval of Hoa Binh area construction planning towards 2020 to gradually organise urban networks to ensure the sustainable development of local urban systems.
In 2012, the province's economic growth slowed to 10.2 per cent, lower than the expected rate of 11 per cent. Specifically, agriculture, forestry and aquaculture expanded 3.9 per cent; construction and industry grew 15.2 per cent; and services leaped 9.8 per cent.
The province had 2,169 enterprises in operation at the end of 2012, mostly small and medium-sized businesses. About half of them were engaged in the construction industry. Despite mounting hardships, they positively contributed to provincial economic development, highlighted by VND1,200 billion of taxes paid to the State Budget and the creation of about 62,000 jobs. They grossed US$72.7 million from exports while spending US$40.6 million on imports. Market price stabilisation was effective thanks to sufficient supply of goods to people in remote areas. Administrative reform, institution building, anti-corruption, and settlement of complaints and denunciations achieved good results.
In recent years, the business community has faced plenty of difficulties due to the economic downturn. What policies and solutions has Hoa Binh province taken to assist enterprises in dealing with difficulties and challenges?
Anticipating difficulties against enterprises, Hoa Binh province has actively implemented the Government’s Resolution 13/NQ-CP dated May 10, 2012 on a number of measures to resolve difficulties for businesses and support the market, based on local realities:
Strengthening contact and information exchange between leaders and investors; assigning, decentralising and boosting monitoring and managerial responsibility of specific agencies;
the Provincial People’s Committee established a working group responsible for working with businesses to seek feedback for the creation of business support policy.
Restructuring enterprises, and strengthening management, control and supervision of such enterprises.
To attract investors to lease the entire eight industrial parks and 17 industrial complexes, the provincial government needs to show more effort and determination, particularly experience and professionalism in investment promotion, and capacity of administrative government. What do you think about these issues?
Hoa Binh province has completed the detailed planning of eight industrial parks to create a clean land fund with synchronous infrastructure to attract investors. In investment promotion, the province has assigned the Department of Planning and Investment and the Hoa Binh Industrial Zones Authority to boost popularity and introduction of local potential, advantages and preferences for investors on websites. Besides, Hoa Binh has coordinated well with infrastructure investors and enlisted assistance of central agencies. In 2011 and 2012, it organised three well-prepared overseas investment promotion trips. Thus, industrial parks alone housed four new FDI projects with a total registered capital of over US$90 million in 2011, representing an increase of 270 per cent against 2010. In 2012, four FDI projects added US$174 million to their projects, equal to 470 per cent in 2010.
To enhance professionalism in investment promotion, the Provincial People’s Committee is considering approval of a plan promoting investment into industrial zones the 2013 - 2020, rearranging investment agencies, accelerating public administration reform, business support and human resource development planning, and applying provincial competitiveness index improvement measures and investor-friendly solutions.
According to the report by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the provincial competitiveness index of Hoa Binh ranked 47th out of 63 provinces and cities in 2011, climbing 13 positions from 2010, thus rated as a fairly good province. This demonstrated that the province's investment environment had improved markedly and proven attractive in the eyes of investors.
The Political Report of the 15th Provincial Party Congress in the 2010-2015 term identified key tasks in the coming period: To create a favourable environment and conditions to attract external investment, mobilise maximum local resources, develop industry and services. How has Hoa Binh province realised these specified tasks?
By promoting all available resources, focusing on growth-driving industries and localities, and narrowing the divide between cities and countryside, and creating a favourable investment climate, the province has been implementing the following specific measures:
Stepping up administrative procedure reform, building competitive advantage relative to other localities;
Prioritising infrastructure development in growth-driven regions, major transportation projects, industrial parks, urban infrastructure, tourism and service-oriented economic restructuring;
Improving human resources in both quantity and quality by supporting and upgrading vocational training schools in association with creating jobs and raising incomes, linking investors with schools;
Mobilising more resources by introducing specific plans and measures. Internal resources – determined to be the foundation – will be combined with external investment resources to make breakthroughs.